by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The seeded player whose progress is in the greatest doubt is that of Chinese Taipei’s Chin Mao-Cheng, the no.10 seed.
After beating Korea’s Hwang Sumin (11-4, 11-4, 11-9), he experienced defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s in form Lau Chun Kit (9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11), only 13 years old, one match earlier he had overcome Malaysia’s Chin Wen Jie (11-8, 11-4, 11-4).
Lau Chun Kit appears to be en route for first place in the group and thus a safe passage to the main draw; the saving grace for Chin Mao-Cheng may well be the fact that players finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to the second stage.
Defeat for Chin Mao-Cheng and for four other notable names there were close calls.
Chinese Taipei’s Lai Chi-Chen, the no.5 seed, after beating Korea’s Han Yeongseom in three straight games (11-5, 11-7, 11-9) was extended the full distance by Singapore’s Beh Kun Ting, only emerging successful by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding game (11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 9-11, 16-14).
Likewise, India’s Ronit Bhanja, the no.13 seed, after accounting for Singapore’s Ethan Poh Shao Feng (11-8, 12-10, 11-6), needed to full five games to beat Chinese Taipei’s Li Hsin-Yang (6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7).
Similar situation for Feng Yi-Hsin and Woo Hyeonggyu
Meanwhile, it was very much the same for the host association’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the no.14 seed and Korea’s Woo Hyeonggyu, the no.16 seed.
Feng Yi-Hsin accounted for Thailand’s Sitisak Nuchchart (10-12, 11-3, 11-9, 11-6), before being tested by Cho Daeseong, like Woo Hyeonggyu from Korea (9-11, 12-10, 13-11, 4-11, 11-4). Similarly, Woo Hyeonggyu defeated colleague Lee Daon (11-5, 11-3, 11-4), prior to needing five games to overcome India’s Siddesh Pande (11-3, 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8).
Very different scenario
Success in the majority for the highly seeded players in the early exchanges in the Junior Boys’ Singles event; it was not the situation in the counterpart Cadet Boys’ Singles competition where Japan’s Shunsuke Togami, the no.2 seed and Takeru Kashiwa, the no.4 seed, both departed proceedings.
Shunsuke Togami suffered defeats in the group stage in opposition to Korea’s Han Yeongseom (6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7) and Chinese Taipei’s Feng Wen-Yen (4-11, 11-8, 12-10, 16-14); whilst Takeru Kashiwa beat Korea’s Hwang Sumin (11-8, 11-7, 11-3) but experienced defeat at the hands of Lin Hsin-Yu, like Feng Wen-Yen from Chinese Taipei (11-6, 11-6, 13-11).
First round departures
Thus there was no place in the main draw for Shunsuke Togami; whilst for Takeru Kashiwa, who advanced to the second stage having finished in second place in his group, it was a first round defeat.
He was beaten by Singapore’s Gerald Yi Zong Jun (14-12, 11-6, 11-3).
Also, notably, the conquerors of Shunsuke Togami experienced opening round defeats. Han Yeongseom, who had finished in second place in the group, was beaten by Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Po-Hsuan, the no.3 seed who had negotiated his group without blemish (11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 11-3).
Feng Wen-Yen, who had topped the group, lost to Singapore’s Jabez mason Law (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8).
Yu Kayama untroubled
Problems but not for Japan’s Yu Kayama, the top seed, he remained unbeaten to finish in first place in his group before beating Chinese Taipei’s Yen Kun-Lin in the opening round (11-3, 11-5, 11-1) to keep his medal hopes very much alive.
Play in the Junior Boys’ Singles and Cadet Boys’ Single events continues on Saturday 27th August.